Christian Themes

(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Music to Die For is representative of mystery and detective genre fiction that has been written specifically for a Christian audience. Some features typical of Christian (sometimes more broadly identified as inspirational) genre fiction are that it avoids depiction of certain behaviors on the part of the main characters (such as drinking, cursing, and nonmarital sex) and that it presents a “faith journey” on the part of a protagonist. Both of these criteria are met by Music to Die For. The novel is the second of a series that features Carrie McCrite and Henry King as amateur sleuths, and its author, Radine Trees Nehring, won the 1998 Christian Writer of the Year Award, presented by the American Christian Writers.

Specific Christian themes are subtle but definitely present. While the plot contains no overtly “churchy” elements—in fact, all readers can enjoy it simply as a mystery without considering its spiritual themes—Carrie McCrite nevertheless is a woman of indelible faith. Her faith in God allows her to enter dangerous situations without disabling fear. When facing the unknown, she automatically says a silent prayer. Carrie knows her Bible and, when someone needs comforting, often recalls an appropriate Psalm or other passage to share with them.

Accompanying her faith is Carrie’s strong sense of responsibility. When finding herself in a dangerous situation, she has no doubt that her responsibility is to do...

(The entire section is 492 words.)